“Since the human race first experienced a need for buildings in which a large number of people could assemble, architects and engineers have striven to produce lightweight structures of ever-increasing span, many described as ‘domes’,” says Professor Chilton.
“In the mind of a structural engineer a dome is a structure that has a distinct form and behaviour. Many modern long-span structures are described as ‘domes’ when their primary load-bearing system does not accord with the engineering definition.
“Some actually work almost entirely in tension, although they still may be more or less dome-shaped, such as the Millennium Dome. Such advances have even made it possible for modern roofs to be lighter than the weight of air they enclose!”
Professor Chilton came to
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